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The Benefits of an Emotional Breakdown

April 27, 2011

I had an emotional breakdown yesterday. And I’m not exaggerating, unless you call crying in fetal position on the closet floor something other than an emotional breakdown.

Yesterday started out good enough. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, tired, stressed, and definitely was not making enough time in my busy days for real workouts. You know what I mean – I’ve been getting by with running up and down the basement steps for a few minutes, running with the dog in the yard for a minute here or there, squeezing in a few lunges and squats while making dinner. But real, more-than-20-minutes, I-am-in-this workouts have been few and far between. And I need them.

So Monday night and early Tuesday morning, I had a mental shift and I made a recommitment to Just Doing It. I got up and put on my workout clothes. I mapped out how my early morning was going to go, getting the 11yo out the door, getting the younger ones fed, getting a real workout in, getting laundry going, etc. And the crap just hit the fan.

The 11yo picked a fight with me (over not eating breakfast and spending too much money on school lunch.) She missed the bus and I had to drive her to school. While we were gone, the Boxer got into the pantry and ate some treats leftover from Easter (not that that is necessarily a bad thing.) The 11 week old Chihuahua puppy was peeing all over the house. My 2yo Beast was picking fights with my 4yo Lil’ Man, and Lil’ Man was whining and egging the 2yo on. I kept starting and stopping my workout to deal with children and dogs and spilt food and drink. As I was doing crunches on my exercise ball, the Beast was trying to climb on top of me while the wee-puppy was literally biting my ankles and the 4yo was asking me 50 questions about what exactly the exercises were that I was doing. And when I was doing my bicep curls and the Beast was asking (yet again) for “sum-ting to dink,” I freaking lost it. I threw my dumbells on the couch and screamed “Mommy needs a time out!”

I ran into my room, went into the closet, curled up on the floor and bawled….for 20 minutes. I cried like a wee little baby, as if I had nothing else in me. Because at that moment, every hope I had when I woke up was out the door. I felt as if all three children and both dogs had sucked every good thing out of me and all that was left was a pile of mush on the floor.

I’d like to tell you that the day got better. It didn’t. The raw emotional edge was gone, but the 11yo picked two more fights with me (and her dad) after school, the dogs continued to grind at the frayed edges, and the boys continued to gripe and bicker through the rest of the night. And my hope of convincing my husband we had the money in our budget to join our local RecPlex was bulldozed by a notice from our mortgage company that they underestimated our escrows – and we will have to pay roughly the cost of a monthly RecPlex membership to them to make up for it. (Sonnofab*tch!)

And then I woke up today. I survived yesterday and this morning, the world was good. There was no early morning fight. The boys actually slept in long enough that I got to complete a yoga workout on Wii Fit. While we were still rushed out the door, we made it to Stroller Aerobics with my FitMommas at the park, and had a great workout with great company. And then my boys and I headed over to another friends house for…ice cream! (Manna from Heaven!). The day is not necessarily easier, but the emotional release of yesterday has built me up, not broken me down. My children are still the same crazy kids. The dogs are still the annoying-yet-lovable creatures they always are.

I’ve been reading so much on the benefits of failure lately, and that’s definitely what I’m feeling right now. Yesterday was an Epic FAIL day. Today is Good. Really Good. Thanks to the Universe for reminding me that I can survive the crappiest of days and that sometimes an emotional breakdown is just what we need in order to move forward.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Melissa Hagan permalink
    April 27, 2011 3:26 pm

    I love you, Amy! I love that you will tell the world when things aren’t perfect. Most people won’t do that. I’m sorry you had such a rough day yesterday and wish I could give you a humongous hug. You rock, girl.

    • April 28, 2011 8:56 am

      I think you’re pretty spectacular yourself, Ms. Melissa!

      IMHO, this job of parenting would be 1000x easier if we were all just a little bit more honest about how incredibly difficult it is. And if we all stopped pretending to have it all together. Because I have yet to meet anyone who really does. I’d rather be honest about my failures….in hopes that when I share my successes, they’ll be that much more genuine to everyone who reads them!

  2. April 28, 2011 3:31 am

    these are times when you need to call your mommy….I will always be there for you……..always…

    • April 28, 2011 8:57 am

      Thanks, Momma! I know that. But picking up the phone in the midst of an emotional breakdown isn’t always the first thing that crosses the mind! Love and hugs to you. Miss you.

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